Have you ever wondered how two authors can write one book? I have. 2 visions, 2 styles, 2 speeds, 2 egos and sensibilities, and, in the case of Knight & Day, even 2 different continents. But if this post is anything to go by, I don’t think Geoff and Ethan had any trouble mixing it up.
A couple of days ago, as the pressure was getting to Ethan Day and I to finish our first co-authored novel, To Catch A Fox, I sent him an email saying this:
You shit all over everything I write! I hate working with you!
To which he replied:
Yes, it’s my life’s goal to piss all over everyone else’s dreams.
And on opposite sides of the planet we both LOLed! Of course I was joking, and in response, Ethan raised my joke and called my bluff. And that right there is what I call a great writing partnership. It’s just like any great partnership. You have to know when to push and when to pull back, when to give and when to take, when to laugh and when to say “that sucks!”, when to say “you’re awesome!” and when to say “are we writing the same book here??”
So let me tell you more about the book we just finished (which will be out in time for GRL 2012!). As I mentioned, it’s called To Catch A Fox. It’s a gay mystery-thriller-action-comedy-everything that tells the story of Jon Fox, a hot gay detective in New Orleans (is there any other kind we want to read about?) who one day has a new client walk through the doors of his office. She’s a sweet old lady, kinda like Betty White, the image of whom became so stuck in our heads that we ended up calling her character Betty Black. Anyway, so Betty walks into Fox’s office and says she wants to hire Fox, not to track somebody down, but to teach her everything he knows about detective work. Why? Because she wants to track someone down on her own. Why? Because she wants to kill that person without being detected herself.
Ah, but that’s just the beginning of the story, one that has so many twists it’ll make a corkscrew blush with inadequacy!
But back to the art of co-writing a book.
The fascinating thing about this process is, not only do you learn a lot about your co-author, but you learn a lot about yourself! Would you like juicy details? Of course you would, but unfortunately we’re writers, so there ain’t much juiciness happening… except of course when it comes to writing a sex scene together!!! Ooh-la-la! But I’ll be leaving those slippery secrets to the very end of this post.
In the meantime, here’s what I learned about myself as a writer in this process:
1. I’m SLOW! I write really slowly! Ethan can bang out 5,000 words in a day no problems, whereas me? I potter about taking dogs on walks, updating my iTunes playlists and posting hot guys on Facebook (hey, it’s a New Year’s Resolution, I can’t stop now!)
2. I’m UNORGANIZED! (Helen Beattie can verify this fact! I would have had nothing to take to GRL last year if not for her!). While Ethan is writing lists containing names of minor characters and backstories that provide the motivations of why our characters murder, blackmail, screw, or fall in love with each other, I bug him with questions like, Who’s this guy? Why did he do that? What do you mean you killed him off in Chapter 6, I just wrote him into the climax?!
3. I’m WAY TOO LAID BACK! I think it’s an Australian thing. Last year I told Ethan we’d easily have this book finished for GRL… 2011… in New Orleans! Mmmm, I think we missed that riverboat! Nevermind, we’ll make the next one. I promise!
And here’s what I learned about Ethan (brace yourself, baby, it’s all coming out)!
1. He writes like a DEMON, then sits up in bed at night and rewards himself with fluffernutters! The first time he said he was eating a fluffernutter in bed I thought he was fucking some cute chunky guy with big balls! I’m Australian, I’ve never heard of a fluffernutter before. When he told me what it was I was (a) disappointed, and (b) revolted! Marshmallow and peanut butter? Where’s my sickbag?
2. I am suspicious that he is officially a VAMPIRE! I send him emails when he should be asleep, not expecting (or wanting) an immediate response, hoping to buy myself a little more time to write, when suddenly ZING! A reply comes through. Back in thy coffin, Nosferatu! Let Geoff make a desperate effort to catch up with your word count!
3. Apart from the thought of sandwiches that make me sick up in my mouth and my frantic efforts to write as fast as him, I can now testify that Ethan is a true ANGEL of our industry. He is an amazing writer! He’s hilarious, intelligent, practical, daring, inventive, compassionate and just plain fun… and so is his writing!
In short, I can’t wait for us to start writing the second Fox novel—A Fox In The Hole—and I hope Ethan feels the same!
Oh wait, I didn’t talk about writing sex scenes together…!
Mmmm… maybe next time. 🙂
To celebrate the completed first draft of his current project, Geoffrey Knight is offering up an e-book copy of one of his recently released, Scott Sapphire and the Emerald Orchird. To enter, comment below on the great fluffernutter debate of 2012. Are you a fan or do you have another guilty pleasure?
Open until Saturday, June 30th at 11:59 pm (PST). Winner will be selected and notified on Sunday.